Friday, July 3, 2009

Teton Flying Trip: 2009

We had another beautiful flying trip with my wife and son to the Grand Teton National Park last week. We followed what I wrote in my blog a while back for a future Yellowstone/Teton trip idea.

Here is our flight path up to the Tetons and back through use of the SPOT Satellite messenger as mentioned in my previous blog. SPOT also now has a new web site called Spot Adventures that I am trying out. It enables you to do a story with pictures linked to your SPOT GPS track. By the way, it looks like SPOT is having a special offer for free SPOT trackers if you sign up for the service for 2 years.


Getting There

The path up from KLMO was not quite as pretty as we hoped for. It was cloudy most of the way. Our route was basically KLMO-KLAR-U25-KJAC.

Tetons from the ILS 19 KJAC approach

We ended up filing IFR for the last portion. Here is a picture of our track in FlightAware.

KJAC IFR ILS 19 June, 2009

Arriving in Jackson Hole

We flew into the Jackson Hole Airport (KJAC), rented a car through Hertz with the Jackson Hole Aviation FBO rate. Their rate ($48/day) was better than and they were extremely helpful and had our car waiting at our plane's tie down spot. Make sure you reserve a tie-down spot with them. They typically have only 20 spots, and right now only 5 spots due to some planes relocated from the Driggs Airport. It also gets you the good treatment with the rental car and parking. There was a $5 landing fee and $10 per day tie down fee. Gas is a little expensive, but it is worth it due to the location. We then drove up to Colter Bay on Jackson Lake in the Grand Teton National Park and stayed in one of the Tent/Cabins.

Colter Bay and the Tent Cabin

Colter Bay Tent/Cabin

The Tent/Cabin was quite nice, but rustic; it has a wood stove. We chose these since we wanted something like tent camping, but you can't reserve a tent site in advance. It was $48/night. The bathrooms were down the hill and the showers were available for $3 in the Laundry/General Store area. Some of our friends reserved the normal cabins which were nice too.

Here is a picture from the air I took on a previous trip. The area has tent/cabins, regular cabins, regular camping, a marina, restaurants, and a general store. It is well laid out in the trees and areas are separated, so you do not know how big it is from the ground.

Colter Bay Aerial Photo

The restaurant, cafe, and general store were pretty nice with good prices. The menus are on-line for the restaurant and cafe. We also bought things from the deli at the general store and ate a the nearby picnic tables a number of times. Much better prices than the Yellowstone area.

The first day we went to Old Faithful which we missed on our last visit to Yellowstone and my son really missed.

Old Faithful

The next day I did some sunrise hiking around Colter Bay and then a visit to the town of Jackson in the evening.

Tetons from Colter Bay Marina

The next day all three of us got up for sunrise pictures and wildlife searching. We saw a nice sunrise and some wildlife (Bison, Antelope, Otter, Pelicans, Elk, Deer, but no Moose). We hear moose are usually near Moose Junction, but we weren't lucky in seeing them. There is a Chuckwagon dinner in Moose Junction that looks interesting, but the chuckwagon special dinner is not on every night and we missed it. We also went to Jenny Lake, took a boat across the lake and hiked the rest of the way to Hidden Falls (0.5 miles each way). Lots of fun stuff!

Getting Back

Some thunderstorms passing through in the morning near Jackson, but otherwise great weather. Pretty scenic flight around the Tetons before heading south. Just fly 2000' AGL or higher since it is a National Park and no closer than 2000' from the mountains. I told Jackson Tower what I wanted to do and they were very accomodating.

Tetons Aerial Photo

Then a pretty flight over the Wind River Range. Then home.

Wind River Range Aerial Photo

Our approximate path was KJAC-KPNA-LAR-KLMO.


1 comment:

denverpilot said...

Nice trip report Brian. I just did my first long cross-country in a while in the 182 to Vegas and back... I'm impressed with your ability to both handle the flying chores, planning, etc... and also remember to shoot great photos for your blog later. I'm going to aspire to getting my blog going again one of these days, with a complete facelift to chronicle my flying. Nicely done!